If you’re in the U.S. and celebrate Thanksgiving… or any holidays anywhere…and are dealing with infertility, you have to have a strategy. Why not? The Macy’s Parade organizers have a strategy. The football teams have a strategy. The dog show has a strategy (I think theirs is: Cram 1200 dog breeds into an hour show.)
Infertile Person’s #1 strategy for Thanksgiving and other holidays should be avoidance:
Running away from your problems is never a good idea unless you’re dealing with infertility and your relatives are the problem. Then run Forrest run. I don’t care that Thanksgiving is in two days. As far as I’m concerned it’s not a done deal.
I remember years ago my aunt and uncle were throwing a big family shindig that everyone was going to. My mother said: “I’m not going.” My father asked: “Why not?” And my mother simply responded: “Because they’re ridiculous people.” If you avoid the ridiculous celebration, you avoid the ridiculous relatives and the ridiculous things that come out of their mouths. (I'm starting a new reality show called: "Relatives Say the Most Ridiculous Things!!")
To attend or not to attend...that is the question...
Hopefully you didn’t obligate yourself to actually hosting a big Thanksgiving or holiday feast this year. I mean, it’s much harder to avoid it when it’s at your house… and you’re cooking it. The only advice I can give you in that case is, wear ear buds with loud music the whole time. Relatives drift into the kitchen, you see their mouths moving, just smile. Smile and stir. Smile and baste. Smile and bake at 425.
But if you’re getting in your car and going over to someone’s house:
1) Avoid the kitchen. It’s a trap; A recipe for disaster: A crowd of nosy gossipers, a bunch of hot and sharp things and one exit.
2) Avoid sitting next to anyone annoying. I understand. This may leave you no choice but to take a plate of food and eat it on the toilet. Well, it’s your choice: Do you want to be comfortable or be left alone? But you’re smart. You know your family. You can identify the biggest problems: Your father’s cousin who has been carrying around an article in her pocketbook for the past six months waiting for this moment when she could whip it out and show you— about a woman in Connecticut who after 10 years of trying went on vacation and came back pregnant with twins. Or your nephew’s wife with 7 kids who claims that he just has to look at her and she gets pregnant. (Maybe that’s why she has so many kids. She hasn’t quite made the connection yet of how it really happens.) Or the one who tells you to sit next to the one with the 7 kids so maybe “you’ll catch it”. Or the guy who winks at your husband and says: “Maybe you’re not doing it right.”
But back to my original idea of avoidance: To attend or to not attend— That really is the question. You have no obligation to be anywhere for any of these people. No matter if your mother says you do or your sister tries to guilt you into going and you’re all packed up and everybody is counting on you to be there and you're supposed to bring the rolls to the wingding and at the last minute you think you can't deal with going and your aunt calls and asks: "Where are my rolls?" Tell her to lift up her shirt and back up slowly toward the full length mirror. Then consider this: Will you feel better or worse about yourself if you go? Will you be glad you dealt with it head on or will you be mad for subjecting yourself to it?
I advise this: If you don't want to be with the ridiculous branches of the family tree, fine. Just have a better plan. Something you'd rather be doing. Don't send yourself your own pity invite and cry yourself a river to float your gravy boat on. And be thankful that you made your own decision… whatever it turns out to be.